Mrs Bridgette Nzima-Mensah, Central Regional Guidance and Counseling Coordinator, has expressed the need for effective and honest career guidance programmes if the country is to make full utilisation of its human resources.
This, she, said would prevent thousands of people becoming frustrated, disappointed and unhappy because of inappropriate career ambitions.
Mrs Nzima-Mensah was speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the side-lines of the opening ceremony of a two-day Career Guidance and Counseling seminar in Cape Coast on Thursday.
She said high teenage pregnancy and unemployment coupled with the numerous social vices being witnessed in the country was as a result of the inability of the schools to provide adequate guidance and counselling units to students while in school.
She suggested the need to strengthen and adequately resource such units to effectively harness the varying abilities, interest and potentials of students.
She said guidance and counselling play critical roles in the psycho-social development of students and help prepare them adequately to fit into the rapidly changing society and should not to be taken for granted.
The seminar, organised by the Regional Guidance and Counseling Unit of Ghana Education Service (GES) was attended by 20 metropolitan, municipal and district counselling coordinators and 62 counsellors in the public senior high schools.
It was among other things, to assist counsellors in GES to create better understanding of theories and how to apply them for the benefit of clients in the school setting as well as in career development and choices.
The seminar was also aimed at creating the awareness on the importance of parental and environmental influence on career development and choice and broaden knowledge on available higher institutions and scholarships in Ghana and how to access them.
Enumerating other challenges she said the counselling units in the various schools lack the necessary materials, test tools and adequate funds, which according to her is not the best for effective running of guidance and counseling programmes.
Mrs Nzima-Mensah said a larger number of counsellors who manage guidance and counselling units at the basic schools are not professionals, who lack the requisite knowledge.
She called for the structuring of guidance and counselling units as some schools do not attach importance to the programmes and activities, because do not generate funds.
The Regional Coordinator, therefore appealed to the GES to introduce a guidance and counselling levy as in the case of sport and culture to generate funds to support the activities and put in place structures to facilitate the work of counsellors.
Mr David Afram, Regional Director of GES said due to social challenges in schools and communities, it is imperative for the country to come up with a comprehensive guidance and counselling programmes, which would be responsive to the needs of students, parents and the community in general.
Participants were taken through topics such as “Grooming the SHS student for career choice”, “the role of a guidance coordinator and the church,” Predictive career development and choice, the role of parents in career choice journey and bringing career theories to life in the school setting”.